My friend and fellow rock writer Eric Danton published this story today. The crux of Eric's piece is that Hartford's Webster Theatre has been sold to the man behind MassConcerts, a concert-booking company based out of good ol' Worcester, Mass.
We can look at this in a few ways. First, it's always sad when a family-owned business sells to a bigger corporation. It happens far too often and leaves us with less choices.
On the other hand, I don't know about you, but I was never a big fan of the Webster. Local bands hate to play there because of the way tickets had to be moved. The bulk of the acts that came through always tended to be aimed at very young audiences. Look at it this way, on a good night Hartford is less than 30 minutes from New Haven. Over the course of five years of being able to see shows at the venue for free, I think I went five or so times.
Now, I know this sounds like a jab at the venue, and it admittedly sort of is, but any good business needs to recognize its primary target demographic. The Webster's happened to be kids and metal fans.
A quick look at MassConcerts' upcoming concerts shows us more varied offerings. They've got Neko Case, Maria Taylor and Ricky Jay among the shows coming up in other venues. Hopefully, we get less metal and the Webster now. Of course, Hartford just might not be the city for edgy and good music. I guess that's why it's good to be in New Haven, no matter how much many like to complain about a lack of good concerts. Take a look at Hartford ...